Tribpedia: Kirk Watson

Abbott Expected to Renew Push for Ethics Reform

Greg Abbott is shown visiting the Senate chamber on Jan. 13, 2015.
Greg Abbott is shown visiting the Senate chamber on Jan. 13, 2015.

Advocates for ethics reform say Gov. Greg Abbott has a rare chance to help spearhead improved lawmaker disclosures and reduce conflicts of interest in Texas. Abbott, who proposed ethics reform during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, is expected to address the issue Tuesday in his State of the State address.

Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, debates changes that would affect the so-called "two-thirds rule" in the Texas Senate on Jan. 21, 2015.
Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, debates changes that would affect the so-called "two-thirds rule" in the Texas Senate on Jan. 21, 2015.

Watson Wants More Disclosure of Wining and Dining

Sen. Kirk Watson has filed three bills that would close a gaping loophole in state ethics law that allows lobbyists — often under pressure from legislators — to avoid naming names when they fill out their mandatory spending and entertainment reports. 

A 2013 look at at a boat dock at Lake Travis, whose water level has decreased markedly amid a historic drought. Lake Travis is part of the Central Texas' Highland Lakes.
A 2013 look at at a boat dock at Lake Travis, whose water level has decreased markedly amid a historic drought. Lake Travis is part of the Central Texas' Highland Lakes.

At "Kumbaya" Meeting, New Colorado River Plan Passes

The Lower Colorado River Authority approved a new plan on Wednesday to manage the Colorado River and its reservoirs, known as the Highland Lakes. Cities and environmental advocates were happy with the plan, but some coastal farmers expressed disappointment.

 

Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks to supporters at Lavazza Espression on Congress Avenue in Austin.
Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks to supporters at Lavazza Espression on Congress Avenue in Austin.

Farmers Insurance PAC Gives to Abbott Amid Lawsuit

Critics of Attorney General Greg Abbott say the state's top lawyer has not fairly represented Texas homeowners who were charged too much by an insurance company whose employees' PAC has given generously to his campaign. Abbott, his campaign and Farmers Insurance contend a proposed settlement agreement is fair.

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her April 2013 drunken driving arrest, and Gov. Rick Perry vetoed funding for the public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County DA's office.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her April 2013 drunken driving arrest, and Gov. Rick Perry vetoed funding for the public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County DA's office.

The Brief: Perry Lawyers Up in Veto Threat Probe

The Austin American-Statesman is reporting that Gov. Rick Perry has hired a defense lawyer to represent him in an ongoing investigation into his veto of funding for the Public Integrity Unit housed in the Travis County DA's office.

Jill Ramirez, the director of outreach for the Latino Healthcare Forum, passes out flyers and explains components of the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 5, 2013.
Jill Ramirez, the director of outreach for the Latino Healthcare Forum, passes out flyers and explains components of the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 5, 2013.

The Evening Brief: Texas Headlines for Jan. 6, 2014

Your evening reading: Democrats continue criticism of proposed state regulations of health navigators; critics of new abortion law face tough questions at 5th Circuit; judge says Texas Supreme Court justice can stay on ballot

Interstate 45 Gulf Freeway's HOV and Toll lanes exit into Metro's Eastowood Transit Center in Houston Friday, October 19, 2012.
Interstate 45 Gulf Freeway's HOV and Toll lanes exit into Metro's Eastowood Transit Center in Houston Friday, October 19, 2012.

TxDOT Releases Names of Top Toll Scofflaws

The state transportation department on Thursday morning released the names of the top 25 toll scofflaws in Texas. The violators owe thousands of dollars in unpaid tolls, with the largest bill totaling more than $230,000.